Decorative Metal Fencing


Metal fencing is not only durable and long-lasting, it can also be decorative and pleasing to the eye. Whether you want a fence with a special pattern and design, or gates with adorned tops and ornaments, metal fencing may provide the look that best fits your yard. While metal fencing will usually not offer much privacy, depending on the height you choose it does provide security or just a pleasing setting. It can also serve to demarcate your property and keep pets and children safe.

Aluminum vs Steel Fencing

Metal fencing is made of either steel or aluminum, and usually comes in pre-assembled panels, typically 4 or 5 feet wide. Because aluminum is more lightweight than steel and is rustproof, it's a favorite choice for almost any area, especially near a swimming pool. Additionally, it's easier to paint aluminum, so you can call a painter and have your fence finished in any color you desire. On the other hand, aluminum is more expensive than steel, and it can't support as strong a load.


Metal fence panels range in height from 3 to 5 feet tall for decorative, ornamental purposes, or up to 12 feet for security purposes. (NOTE: Check with your local building authority; installing a fence over 6 feet may not be allowed or may require a permit.) Metal fencing can have an almost infinite number of patterns and designs, including spiked pickets, arches, latticework and more.

Shorter, patterned fences can sometimes be quite flimsy. These can be installed by hand if they are just for show, though this can be a time-consuming activity, and it's best left to professionals. The shorter, less sturdy fences usually cost between $15 and $30 per foot, depending on the height and intricacy of the pattern. However, be aware that if not professionally installed, a child or animal can knock these over with a small amount of force.

Alternatively, more structurally-sound decorative fences are available which can withstand pressure and weight. These fences, which are sturdier and heavier, can also be ornamental; and typically cost $20 to $75 per foot, depending on the height, thickness and pattern. Because installation involves digging post holes and laying cement, it's best to have a professional fence contractor install the fence for you. If you have the proper tools and experience, you can try to install it yourself, but to ensure quality, an expert should be consulted.


In addition to the fence itself, gates are an important part of your yard's look. A decorative metal gate can range from a simple single or double gate, to an elaborate arbor gate with an arch and overhead latticework. Simple four-foot wide gates with ornamental pickets and arches typically cost between $100 and $600, depending on the height and stability of the gate. The more ornate arbor gates can cost $250 to $1,000.

A decorative metal fence is a great way to improve the look of your yard or garden, while adding safety and security. With so many options available, it's not difficult to find the design and look that best fits your property.

Updated May 30, 2018.

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